Female Execs Look for Supportive Supervisors

April 20, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Women managers evaluating a potential new employer or who are deciding whether to remain with their current company are most interested in whether they will have supervisors who support them, according to a new survey.

A news release said that the survey of female executives, commissioned by computermaker Dell, found that supportive supervisors (63%) and having family and domestic assistance to help with personal obligations (54%) were the top two factors respondents said they considered. Third on the list was having flexible work hours (50%).

Standing in the way of workplace advancement for the female executives: placing a higher value on personal and family responsibilities (59%), perceptions of women’s commitment to their careers (54%) and perceptions of women’s capabilities (44%), according to the news release.

“Not only must global companies understand the factors that motivate women’s job decisions throughout their careers, we also must work to remove obstacles and barriers that drive them out of the workforce at key life stages,” said Thurmond Woodard, Dell’s vice president, Global Diversity, in the news release.

Although the primary findings regarding recruitment, retention and advancement were consistent internationally, the research uncovered regional differences. While European respondents are more influenced by a strong market position when considering a job offer, North American respondents are more influenced by the strength of a company’s reputation. Asia-Pacific respondents, in general, have a more positive perspective around conditions for advancement and are more likely to accept global assignments.

Harris Interactive conducted the online survey in 35 countries between January 24 and February 14, 2005 among 248 female managers (aged 18 and over) who work for a multi-national company and have at least one direct report.